Tom Selleck, 79, Became An Actor By Accident After ’60S Pepsi Commercial But Had ‘Many Failures’ Before Landing Magnum Pi At Age 35 The Blue Bloods Star Writes In His New Memoir: ‘It Was A Long Road’


Tom Selleck is looking back at his past.

The actor has talked to People about how he became a massive TV star in the 1980s at the age of 35 with the show Magnum PI where he played a handsome detective living in Hawaii.

The 79-year-old Detroit native said he kind of lucked into acting after he became a model.

When he starred in a Pepsi commercial in the late 1960s, he started to feel that he could make a living as an actor, but it was a ‘long road’ to fame that was littered with many ‘failures,’ he shared.

The Blue Bloods actor is reminiscing about his career as he is set to release his new memoir You Never Know due out May 7.

His career started in his early 20s, but he would not find fame until he was in his mid 30s.

Tom – who is 6ft4in – won a full basketball scholarship to University Of Southern California in Los Angeles.

He was majoring in business administration and didn’t even step foot into the drama department.

But then he was chosen to star as a basketball player in a Pepsi commercial. He was noticed during the commercial and then was asked to join the popular TV show The Dating Game.

‘It is really the story of an accidental career,’ he told the outlet. ‘I’d never taken an acting class. I had no training, no desire.’

Then he landed a role on the soap opera The Young and the Restless in 1967.

After that he guest starred on shows like The Rockford Files, The FBI, Marcus Welby MD and Mannix.

But he struggled. Tom told People: ‘It is a lot about failing, endless failures.’ And he added: ‘If you’re going to get in the acting business, you better get an appetite for it. And I tried to communicate that… Because it was kind of a long road.’

At the age of 35, he landed the lead role as Thomas Magnum on the primetime series Magnum PI which became a cultural phenomenon.

The star received five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, winning in 1985.

‘People would say, “Oh, he was bitten by the acting bug” or, “He wanted to be a star,”‘ Selleck said. ‘I’ve never talked that way in my life. I just wanted to get a job and work.’

This comes after he said he is still very much in love with his wife of almost 40 years Jillie Mack, 66.

Their romance that has endured since they met in 1983.

Together they have daughter Hannah, 35, and his adult son, Kevin – whom he shares with ex-wife Jacqueline Ray.

He films Blue Bloods in New York City but every two weeks come home to his ranch in Ventura, California where they unwind together.

The star, who played Courteney Cox’s boyfriend on Friends, also talked up

Tom first met Jillie in 1983 wen they were in London; she was performing in the musical Cats.

They tied the in 1987 and had Hannah the next year.

Selleck says he most loves ‘the friendship’ between him and his wife, adding, ‘And Jillie’s sense of humor.’


He added Jillie is next to him when he goes over his Blue Bloods scripts.

‘I’m one of the last guys to see it, and I’m a good editor,’ said Selleck.

And he says he appreciates it all: ‘I’ve had a very good life, a very lucky life. I don’t know if it’s what I figured I’d be doing, but it’s with a lot of gratitude.’

This comes after he said he plans to relax when the curtain falls on the final episode of his hit police show Blue Bloods.

The actor’s 13-year run on the CBS series is coming to an end later this year.

And an insider has opened up about how he has no regrets over it finishing as it will give him more time to spend on his ranch with his wife.

‘He wants to relax on his ranch, walk around his property, spend time with his wife and family, and travel a bit,’ a source told Closer magazine.

‘Tom and Jillie can just sit at home, cook, go for a long walk and be very content. He adores Jillie and trusts her to schedule activities or travel plans.

‘He’s looking forward to having more free time to spend with her.’

Tom lives on a 65-acre home near Ventura, California, where he grows avocados.

He told Closer about how his wife is the center of his world: ‘Jillie has this sort of joie de vivre, this effervescent quality that just lights up a room.’

He and Jillie have a close relationship with their daughter Hannah, 35, who is an accomplished horse rider.

The source said: ‘Tom’s very close to Hannah and very proud of her competitive horse jumping career.

‘He hopes Hannah finds love and has children, but he’s not the type of dad to push it.’

Tom’s first book, his memoir ‘You Never Know’ is set to come out on 7 May, but the insider said it will not be a kiss-and-tell type book.

They said: ‘It’s not a gossipy Hollywood tell-all. He is sharing his experiences in (showbusiness), (and stories about how he met) some great stars and how they affected him, and what he’s learned.’

It was announced in November that season 14 of Blue Bloods will be its last.

The last season of the show will be split into two parts, according to People. Part one of the final season will feature 10 episodes, beginning February 16, 2024. The last eight episodes – part two of the final season – will air in Fall 2024.

The show will also live stream on Paramount+.

Blue Bloods became the second-longest running scripted show on CBS- behind NCIS (with 21 seasons).

Tom plays the character Frank Regan, starring alongside Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Vanessa Ray, Marisa Ramirez and Len Cariou.